KBIA alum Jason Rosenbaum covers Missouri state politics
Jason Rosenbaum is a political correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio and a member of the class of 2006.
Rosenbaum spoke with KBIA producer Shea Baechle.
I am a political correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio. I graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in 2006.
And how did KBIA and the public media at the University of Missouri influence, kind of, where you are today?
One of the, I think, reporters/producers asked me to come on and do kind of a debriefing about my experience working as a state government reporter at the Columbia Tribune.
And that kind of morphed into a weekly commentary where I would write and record a three and a half minute analysis. But that was my first real experience doing radio in any significant capacity.
Without KBIA, I don't think I would have had the interest in public media that I have right now.
And what is your mission?
I think that my mission is to try to bring kind of the complex and insular world of Missouri state politics to a broader audience.
And I became a St. Louis public radio employee in 2013. Eight months into my radio career, got thrown into the Ferguson protest movement and became a formidable event in not only my journalism career, but my life.
I know you said Ferguson was definitely one of your biggest stories that really influenced you, and kind of your outlook on things. But what has been your most impactful?
I think that there was one particular story during Ferguson that was particularly impactful. I was at a St. Louis County Council meeting, and there were very few reporters there and there were very few people there.
And there was an 11-year-old named Marquis Govan, and he made a two and a half minute speech about why people were protesting in Ferguson.
I had actually sat and listened to the speech, and I was able to, like, find him and interview him and do a feature for St. Louis Public Radio.
But what I'm really enthused about is that a lot of people during Ferguson got like this burst of fame and Marquis stayed active in local politics. He worked for political campaigns, he continued to be outspoken and go to protests.
And now he's at like St. Louis University where he's excelling at school. But I always look back at that one, because that one made an impact on a particular person.
Why should listeners support KBIA?
I think that listeners should support KBIA because in addition to being just a tremendous space, where budding journalists learn how to do radio journalism, it also is a place where a lot of important journalism gets done.
I think that KBIA does an exceptional job of covering big issues, not only in Columbia, but in the surrounding mid-Missouri area, and even Northeast Missouri really, really well.
The fact that it's been able to remain such a major staple of mid-Missouri life for 50 years, and has just produced so much high quality work, I think is indicative of why it deserves support from not only people in Columbia, not only people in mid-Missouri but the entire state.
The 50 Project was made possible through the support of our sponsors, long-term KBIA listeners David Black and Lee Wilkins.